In 2019, we launched some of our own programs and began our efforts to combat the achievement gap directly. With the support and partnership of Princeton Education Foundation and the Princeton Public Schools, we were able to provide the following programs to almost 100 students:
Mission to Mars summer science camp took 24 rising 6th – 10th grade students on an exciting imaginary adventure to Mars. There were real adventures to iFly Indoor Skydiving, Great Adventure, and Rutgers University as well as three weeks of hands-on Biology, Physics, and Food Science. Mr. Burr opened John Witherspoon Middle School to us and hosted our program in July. This was extra special for the rising 6th graders as they had an opportunity to check out their new school on their way to Mars.
The Book U Get summer reading book clubs fostered a joy of reading for 25 middle school and 17 high school students. Between those issued with the course and won as prizes, over 460 books made their way into the hands of our participants and their families. There were even SKYPE visits from two authors so participants had a chance to ask authors questions about their books. This program would not have been possible without the support of the Princeton Public Library, which hosted both clubs for eight weeks this summer.
Up & Out post-graduation college planning course laid the foundation for the transition to college for 14 rising 11th and 12th grade students. Ms. Baxter opened Princeton High School to us and hosted our program for the last two weeks of August. Students set up Naviance accounts, met with Ms. Lieberman to identify schools, began the Common App, drafted personal essays, brag sheets, and resumes, and heard from a host of speakers. Ms. Siso even spent a day as a mock admissions interviewer to help students prepare for this real-world interaction.
Get With The Program extended the PHS fitness center hours for 16 students who wanted to prepare for a fall sport or get on a path to a healthier and more fit life.
2019 Grants Awarded
Closing the Summer Opportunity Gap
In addition to our own programs, PCF bridged the opportunity gap for over 180 students from the seven Princeton Public and Charter Schools through opportunities at local camps. The students attended eight different summer camps this year:
Princeton Recreation Department (PRD) Day Camp*
PRD Teen Travel Camp
PRD Basketball Camp or Basketball League
PRD Track/Skate Camp
PRD Bluefish Swim Team or swim/dive lessons
YMCA Summer Camp
* A truly special thank you to Send Hunger Packing - Princeton (SHUPP) for supporting healthy lunches for 175 PRD Day Campers this summer! Through our partnership with SHUPP and PRD all campers in need of lunch this summer received it.
In addition to camps, we enrolled 9 students in our PYSI swimming lessons program that was hosted at Princeton Fitness & Wellness Center. Our PHS student partner, Emily Becker, continued to run Princeton Youth Swim Initiative and provided students with the life skill of swimming.
Opening Doors to College
PCF coordinated an SAT tutoring course for 4 PHS students this summer to help them prepare for the October, 2019 exam.
We also worked with PHS to support students in online courses for enrichment and recovered credit via Educere.net in Biology, Intro to Literature, and Environmental Science. Completing these courses over the summer will allow all of these students to graduate on time.
Providing An Equivalent Experience
Much of what we do at PCF is directly related to enrichment or extracurricular activities, but we also want all students to have an equivalent social experience. That means being able to get a school picture, having an advanced calculator for math class, attending school trips and functions like the senior prom, or participating in behind-the-wheel training for a driver’s license.
In 2019, grants were awarded that provided for the following:
36 students received summer packs, with a new swim suit, flip flops, towel, sunscreen, and goggles, to use for camp
26 high school students received assistance to attend prom (dress, tuxedo rental, hair or makeup, ticket)
23 middle school students received a school photo
19 elementary and middle school students participated in Dillon Basketball through the Rec Department
9 elementary and middle school students were enrolled in our PYSI swim program
8 high school students participated in Driver’s Education training and received their driver’s licenses
4 high school students were enrolled in an SAT tutoring program
1 high school student completed a summer math course at an area school to meet 4-year graduation requirements
1 elementary student attended Westminster Choir Conservatory music lessons for the entire year